Duke Energy intends to make an estimated investment of $1bn to construct or acquire a total of 700MW of solar power facilities from 2018 through 2022 in Florida

Duke Energy

Duke Energy’s solar plant in Florida. (Credit: Duke Energy Corporation)

American power company Duke Energy has announced plans to build two new solar plants in Florida with a total capacity of 149MW.

The two plants are the Twin Rivers and Santa Fe solar power plants, each with 74.9MW of capacity. While the Twin Rivers Solar Power Plant will be located in Hamilton County, the Santa Fe Solar Power Plant will be located in Columbia County.

The Twin Rivers project will be located on 460 acres of land and will be powered by nearly 235,000 tracking solar panels, which will track the movement of the sun throughout the day, generating enough energy to power nearly 23,000 homes. The Santa Fe project will be built on nearly 600 acres of land in Columbia County.

Duke Energy Florida will operate the two solar plants

The two solar plants will be developed, owned, operated and maintained by Duke Energy Florida and the ground breaking is expected to take place this March. Project completion could take place in the later part of this year.

The construction phase of each project will create between 200 and 300 temporary jobs.

Duke Energy Florida state president Catherine Stempien said: “Our two newest solar power plants in Hamilton and Columbia counties are expected to eliminate approximately 600 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida each year upon commercial operation. That’s the equivalent of taking about 56,000 passenger cars off the road each year.

“We are committed to environmental stewardship and more fuel diversity for our Florida customers’ benefit.”

Last month, Duke Energy had also completed two other solar plants with 120MW capacity.

The two projects include the Lake Placid and the Trenton solar projects, located in Highlands County and Gilchrist County, respectively. While the Lake Placid project has a capacity of 45MW and is capable of powering over 12,000 homes, the Trenton solar project has 74.9MW of capacity and can power 23,000 homes.

Furthermore, the company is building another 74.9MW solar power plant in Columbia County, whose services are expected to begin this April.

The company is investing nearly $1bn in the construction or acquisition of a total of 700MW of solar capacity between 2018 through 2022 in Florida.